By Niroj Dash
The massive ₹2.5-₹5 drop in petrol prices has brought achche din for several bike/car-owners in the country. A number of people we spoke to (mostly hailing from NDA-ruled states) claimed that the government’s move had finally enabled them to buy those packets of peanuts they always desired.
For a few, like Professor Ajay Tyagi, the government’s generosity exceeded expectations. “I’ve always wanted to own a sea-facing flat in Mumbai, but was always wasting ₹2 on fuel,” he said. “Now, with my savings, I can finally afford a home redolent with the salty air of the sea mixed with the fragrance of dead weeds and dried fish. Thanks, Jaitley ji!”
The last time Professor Tyagi experiences such financial freedom, he tells us between sips of his knock-off NesKafe, multiplexes in Mumbai had announced that outside food will be allowed in theatres. “I bought a BMW with the money I saved,” he says, holding up a photograph.
A suburb away, taking his bike out of the garage was Naseer, 26. The last few months have been hard on him and the ₹2 change in petrol prices has added a whole 0 at the end of his bank account balance (previously 0).
“For the last month I kept my bike alive by feeding it a few millilitres of petrol with an ink dropper,” he said. “So happy that burre din are behind us. I spoke to a friend today, and we can finally afford to go on a road trip this weekend! Provided it isn’t further than Chembur, of course…”
Some, like Sachin Gokhale, are not as excited as Naseer about this pre-pre-Diwali bonus. Gokhale knows that the prices of petrol can overcome these nervous nineties anxiety any second now.
“First I thought, ‘mutual fund sahi hai investment’, but markets have been in a tailspin. So I decide to put the crores that I’ve saved off fuel into producing Salman Khan’s LoveYatri 2,” Gokhale said. “I want to send my son to an international school in the USA,” he continued. “Not the kind of international schools we see here in Matunga.”
Avinash Kulkarni, a businessman who deals in children’s tears, believes that the time has come now for every Indian to give back to society. “I made a huge contribution to the Bring Nirav Modi Back fund. How long are we going to make Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, Vijay Mallya suffer in uncharted, unfriendly environments,” Kulkarni asked. “Also since this makes me a one-man NGO, the government will have to give me tax benefits,” he added with a wink.
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